The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and its economic development affiliate the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation hosted a manufacturing bus tour on Tuesday October 23, 2018, for 41 students and chaperones from Fitchburg High School and Leominster High School as part of their “Amp It Up!” initiative to promote careers in manufacturing and highlight the importance of manufacturing to North Central Massachusetts.
Attendees on the tour visited AIS, Inc in Leominster and the Mount Wachusett Community College Advanced Manufacturing Campus in Devens, where they were able to get an insider’s look at how manufacturers operate as well as learn about the growing employment opportunities in manufacturing and the necessary skill-sets needed.
“We were excited to work with AIS, Mount Wachusett Community College and the high schools and showcase the employment opportunities that are right here in North Central Massachusetts and the skills needed to be successful,” said Roy Nascimento, president & CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “We are very encouraged by the response of not only the local educational institutions, but the students themselves to this important industry sector.”
With over 440 firms, North Central Massachusetts boasts the largest concentration of manufacturing in the state. Fully one-third of all private wages paid in the region are from manufacturing jobs. Companies range from the world class plastics industry cluster, to pharmaceuticals, photonics, paper, and biomedical devices.
Manufacturers today are some of the most well-paid, highly trained and in demand employees in the workforce, working on advanced equipment and technology. However, many manufacturers have been challenged recruiting the workers they need. Despite the high wage potential and increasing employer demand, there is both a need for more young workers and a skills gap among an existing and a transitioning workforce.
The purpose of the “AMP it up!” initiative is to leverage new and existing resources to continue ongoing efforts to reach career counselors, community organizations, youth-serving organizations, educators, and most importantly students throughout North Central Massachusetts. The Chamber’s “Amp It Up!” initiative is funded in part through a matching grant from MassDevelopment. Other partners include Fitchburg State University, Mt. Wachusett Community College and school systems throughout the region. Ongoing efforts to promote manufacturing careers have also included engaging the schools and offering career exploration activities to students, hosting student tours, participating in career day activities and promoting manufacturing via a targeted social media campaign.
For more information on the manufacturing bus tour, please contact the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce at 978.353.7600.